George Rucker's Newsletter for November 29, 2016

Here we are at the last Tuesday of November,

The best thing about the end of November besides Thanksgiving is soon the days will start to get longer.  I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  Patty and I did at our daughter Kate and Dave’s house in Sandwich.   It is truly one of the better holidays of the year.


The other day the Vice President elect went to a New York play.  I do not agree with the cast giving him a lecture about their beliefs, be they right or wrong.  The stage is not a podium of discourse, especially at roughly $1000.00 a seat.  So from me “Shut up and sing,” or as a retort from my favorite coach, Bill Belichick, “Do your job.”


Coming back from the store the other day I could see a turkey near the road.  I found it funny that it was only one.  I usually see two or three young males which probably have been kicked out of a flock by the dominate male, or 30 to 50 if it is the flock.  Looking closer it seemed a little smaller than normal.  It was an actual bird called a turkey buzzard.  It is the namesake of the south side of Cape Cod or Buzzards Bay.  No feathers on the head and neck which makes them look rather creepy.  My friend Ann would let me know what certain sightings of animals mean. I think she uses a Native American handbook to do so.  I have not seen a turkey buzzard for a few years.


Just learned that in England ''Hawks'' were referred to as Buzzards. Makes since that with all the ''Ospreys'' in Buzzards Bay, early settlers considered them hawks. thuslly...Buzzards Bay. Make sense?  Hawks were Ospreys or fish hawks

Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. The awards were presented at the White House on November 22nd.  Last week’s letter only had room for three.

This event was streamed live at:

Robert De Niro has brought to life some of the most memorable roles in American film during a career that spans five decades. His first major film roles were in the sports drama Bang the Drum Slowly and Martin Scorsese's crime film Mean Streets.  He is a seven-time Academy Award nominee and two-time Oscar winner, and is also a Kennedy Center honoree. ...  I do not feel this is worth the honor.

Bill and Melinda Gates established the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000 to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, the foundation focuses on improving people's health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, the mission is to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. The Gates Foundation has provided more than $36 billion in grants since its inception. ... This might be worth the medal.

Frank Gehry is one of the world’s leading architects, whose works have helped define contemporary architecture. His best-known buildings include the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the Dancing House in Prague, and the Guggenheim Museum building in Bilbao, Spain. . . . Again, just doing his job.

Margaret H. Hamilton led the team that created the on-board flight software for NASA's Apollo command modules and lunar modules. A mathematician and computer scientist who started her own software company, Hamilton contributed to concepts of asynchronous software, priority scheduling and priority displays, and human-in-the-loop decision capability, which set the foundation for modern, ultra-reliable software design and engineering. . . . This is a good choice for the award

Tom Hanks is one of the Nation’s finest actors and filmmakers. He has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role five times, and received the award for his work in Philadelphia and Forrest Gump.  Those roles and countless others, including in Apollo 13, Saving Private Ryan, and Cast Away, have left an indelible mark on American film. Off screen, as an advocate, Hanks has advocated for social and environmental justice, and for our veterans and their families. . . .  This is a reasonably good choice for the award.

Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, known as “Amazing Grace” and “the first lady of software,” was at the forefront of computers and programming development from the 1940s through the 1980s. Hopper’s work helped make coding languages more practical and accessible, and she created the first compiler, which translates source code from one language into another.  She taught mathematics as an associate professor at Vassar College before joining the United States Naval Reserve as a lieutenant (junior grade) during World War II, where she became one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer and began her lifelong leadership role in the field of computer science.
. . .  A scientist and Rear Admiral, this woman lead an exemplary life and only the second to have a naval ship named after her (DDG-70) I agree with the award.

Michael Jordan is one of the greatest athletes of all time. Jordan played 15 seasons in the NBA for the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards; he is currently a principal owner and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets.  During his career, he won six championships, five Most Valuable Player awards, and appeared in 14 All-Star games.
. . . Sorry, he was just doing the job he was gifted with.

Maya Lin is an artist and designer who is known for her work in sculpture and landscape art. She designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. and since then has pursued a celebrated career in both art and architecture.  A committed environmentalist, Lin is currently working on a multi-sited artwork/memorial, What is Missing? bringing awareness to the planet's loss of habitat and biodiversity. . . .  She is a good choice if only for the design of the Viet Nam war memorial.

Lorne Michaels is a producer and screenwriter, best known for creating and producing Saturday Night Live, which has run continuously for more than 40 years. In addition, Michaels has also produced The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and 30 Rock, among other popular, award-winning shows. He has won 13 Emmy Awards over the course of his lengthy career. . . .  Sorry received his awards already.

Newt Minow is an attorney with a long and distinguished career in public life. After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, Minow served as a Supreme Court clerk and counsel to the Governor of Illinois. In 1961, President Kennedy selected Minow, then 34, to serve as Chairman of the Federal Communications Committee (FCC), where he helped shape the future of American television and was a vigorous advocate for broadcasting that promoted the public interest. In the five decades since leaving the FCC, Minow has maintained a prominent private law practice while devoting himself to numerous public and charitable causes.   . . . Sorry just doing his job.

Eduardo Padrón is the President of Miami Dade College (MDC), one of the largest institutions of higher education in the United States. During his more than four decade career, President Padrón has been a national voice for access and inclusion. He has worked to ensure all students have access to high quality, affordable education. He has championed innovative teaching and learning strategies making MDC a national model of excellence. . . . Another sorry here but not high enough for my standards.

Robert Redford is an actor, director, producer, businessman, and environmentalist. In 1981, he founded the Sundance Institute to advance the work of independent filmmakers and storytellers throughout the world, including through its annual Sundance Film Festival. He has received an Academy Award for Best Director and for Lifetime Achievement.  Redford has directed or starred in numerous motion pictures, including The Candidate, All the President's Men, Quiz Show, and A River Runs Through It. ...Once more, just one of those just doing their job candidates

Diana Ross has had an iconic career spanning more than 50 years within the entertainment industry in music, film, television, theater, and fashion. Diana Ross is an Academy Award nominee, inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and recipient of the Grammy Awards highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award. Ross was a recipient of the 2007 Kennedy Center Honors.  Diana Ross’s greatest legacy is her five wonderful children. . . . Again, just doing their job and received many other awards along the way.

Vin Scully is a broadcaster who, for 67 seasons, was the voice of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers.  In Southern California, where generations of fans have grown up listening to Dodger baseball, Scully's voice is known as the "soundtrack to summer."  In 1988, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.  Scully's signature voice brought to life key moments in baseball history, including perfect games by Sandy Koufax and Don Larsen, Kirk Gibson's home run in the 1988 World Series, and Hank Aaron's record-breaking 715th home run. . . . Sorry once again.

Bruce Springsteen is a singer, songwriter, and bandleader.  More than five decades ago, he bought a guitar and learned how to make it talk.  Since then, the stories he has told, in lyrics and epic live concert performances, have helped shape American music and have challenged us to realize the American dream.  Springsteen is a Kennedy Center honoree and he and the E Street Band he leads have each been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. . . . Sorry once again.

Cicely Tyson has performed on the stage, on television, and on the silver screen.  She has won two Emmy Awards and a Tony Award, and is known for her performances in Sounder, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, and The Help.  In 2013, she returned to the stage with The Trip to the Bountiful, and was awarded the Tony Award for best leading actress.  Tyson received the Kennedy Center Honors in 2015. . . . Sorry but again a talented person just doing their job.

Perhaps I just put too much of my “Medal of Honor” knowledge into this “Medal of Freedom” thing.  I have had two favorite Medal of Honor winners in my life but those are a story for another day.  I could write a complete letter on the subject and I also know that those getting the award fit the requirements of the award just not what I feel the award should mean.

Patty watched the entire award ceremony and feels all recipients were totally deserving of the award that they received.  She was also glad she watched the entire show.


In the early part of my life I read some books for enjoyment, these were mostly adventure, science fiction and fiction in general.  During much of my adult life I did not read for enjoyment but read to learn different things.  Then with CD’s I found I could listen and drive so in a way I would read for enjoyment once again but only while driving.

I am happy to say that one of my all time favorite characters is now on a television series with the USA network.   I have listened to every story written about Bob Lee "the Nailer" Swagger, who is a fictional character created by Stephen Hunter. He is the protagonist of a series of books that relate his life during and after the Vietnam War—Point of Impact, Black Light, Time to Hunt, The 47th Samurai, Night of Thunder, I, Sniper, Dead Zero, and, most recently, The Third Bullet. He is also the protagonist of the film Shooter. Swagger is loosely based on USMC Scout Sniper Carlos Hathcock.

A funny thing about this character is, he is so well developed I would know his father, himself a Metal of Honor winner, his mother, wife, children and many of his friends.  Some of the books are about them with Bob Lee as a subordinate character.  The books written above are just those with Bob Lee as the main character.


Time for another portion of my letter the great inventions of mankind.  I used to think the couple who lived across the street had pretty much seen everything during their lives.  Both were born in the 1800s, when most roads were just dirt or gravel.  Horse carriages and the rail roads were the main mode of transportation.  They were probably 50 years older than I.  We talked to each other during the mid 60s about the Russians launching the first satellite, Sputnik.  This satellite did nothing but ping so it could be tracked while in orbit.  I  just returned from my first tour in Viet Nam and in my mid 20s of my life.  At the time I thought they had seen so many changes during their lives than I would ever see in mine.  It was not true.  I also think the children of today will also think and say the same about me and our generation.

My first experience with this weeks invention was a total Navy failure.  It was aboard the USS Brough, DE-148, and using the aft 01 deck, we had cleared everything for approximately a 22' x 22' area, then while in the port of Key West and using a crane put a small unmanned helicopter onto that cleared spot.  The small helicopter was about 15 feet long and was  radio controlled.   We were to take some engineer developers out to sea and they were to use the remote control for a take off and landing on the same small spot.  It failed and crashed into the ocean not even 50 feet from the ship.  They recalibrated the controls, loaded another helicopter in Key West and the next day failed once again.  We tried once more for a total of three times before they gave up leaving all three helicopters in Davie Jones Locker.  I am not sure how deep the water was but we were probably five miles away from the island, my guess would be about 300 feet or more.  This had to have been a precursor to today’s drones.  I was 19 or 20 years old and the year was 1960 or 61.

All kinds of drones are available today, pretty much every shape and size depending on the type of work for which they are intended.  Some drones built to resemble dragonflies or birds could be used for eavesdropping .  Larger unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are used to drop bombs or conduct surveillance.

The one thing all have in common is they are piloted by remote control and some might have a preprogrammed flight path.  Drones are primarily used by the military for surveillance or equipped with missiles for precision strikes.  However, as drone technology progresses, the list of commercial applications is growing.

This past Thanksgiving morning on the morning news they were reporting on a new drone named the Predator.  It shares the same name with military drone but is much smaller.  It reminded me of watching a falcon strike small prey with a swift and precise strike.  It will have the purpose of destroying drones which are becoming a problem around airports with their potential capability to destroy bigger aircraft.  The predator would quickly drop a net over the top of the intruding drone and the net would take it to the ground.  It could all be done using radar and computer guidance, 24/7 around American airports.

Drone research began as early as World War I and continued through World War II, but the programs had little success.  The allure and practicality were obvious – fewer pilot casualties – but the failure rates left much of the research on the drawing board for years.

Surveillance drones became popular in the 1960s when intelligence-gathering agencies relied on simple mechanisms equipped with cameras.  In the 1990s arming drones became a priority for the military once again.  Today, a pilot can be safely ensconced in a building in one country while directing a drone to survey an area in another country or to launch a strike on a particular region or even an individual.

Drones are made of lightweight materials that can withstand high altitudes but are still strong enough to carry a payload of missiles or imaging systems or perhaps, in the future even personal packages.  Most drones are equipped with cameras, GPS and sensor systems.

Today, simple drones can be made by hobbyist with kits.  While little regulation currently exists regarding the civilian use of drones, as new purposes arise for them, so does the controversy over privacy issues and legislation that governs their usage.  Especially as drone technology grows more compact and even camouflaged, some are concerned about surveillance becoming even more of a part of modern life.

The nonmilitary uses for drones have expanded to include forest fire detection, conservation, local law enforcement, film making, mapping, traffic control and scientific research.  Some people foresee the role of drones in disaster relief and construction, too.


Want to see an exciting thing.  This has been around before, but still adventurous to watch.  A sky diver without a parachute.


I have not done much cooking with my kitchen still in disarray.  I am hoping that this part of my life will soon be back in order.  I am going to put a recipe down today that I have not tried but plan to try.  I happen to like mac and cheese.  It is on the menu of many restaurants but usually with a little more flair, say lobster mac and cheese.  These are all good and I have been happy with most variations.

 Memphis-Style Chicken Mac ’n Cheese

A classic creamy mac ’n cheese dish from Julie Wampler of Table For Two that’s amped up with flavor from incorporating Memphis-style chicken throughout!

What You Need

For the Memphis-style rub:

1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the rest of the dish:

1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 ½ cups cavatappi pasta, or similar shape such as rotini pasta
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ cup chicken broth
1 heaping cup extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 heaping cup intense white cheddar cheese
½ teaspoon salt and pepper
Reynolds Wrap® Non-Stick Aluminum Foil

Make It

    1. Whisk all the ingredients for the Memphis-style rub in a small bowl and set aside.

    2. Preheat grill to medium-high.

    3. Place 2 to 3 chicken thighs on a large 18"x12" piece of Reynolds Wrap® Non-Stick Foil. Generously sprinkle Memphis-style rub on all sides of the chicken, gently pressing it down.

    4. Wrap up the chicken thighs in the foil and repeat with the remaining chicken thighs.

    5. Place foil-wrapped chicken thighs onto the grill.

    6. Cover the grill and grill the chicken thighs for 15 to 20 minutes (longer or shorter depending on thickness of chicken) or until tender and juices run clear or meat thermometer reads 180 degrees F. After the chicken is cooked through, carefully place the foil packet on a large plate. Carefully open foil with a pair of tongs and then, if desired, place chicken thighs directly onto grill to get nice grill marks and some char. Afterward, let chicken thighs rest for 15 to 20 minutes or until cool enough to handle.

    7. Chop chicken into pieces.

    8. Boil a pot of water, and add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 to 12 minutes depending on the pasta shape you use. Drain.

    9. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour and chicken broth. Let thicken for 3 to 5 minutes.

    10. Add cheeses to the skillet and stir with a spatula until melted and smooth.

    11. Add the pasta to the cheese sauce and stir to incorporate.

    12. Add the chicken pieces to the mac ’n cheese and stir to incorporate.

    13. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    14. Serve and enjoy!              Serves four


I was told that the Oregon ducks won last weekend.  These are not duck jokes but how ducks managed to get into our vocabulary.

Goose bumps

What's good for the goose is good for the gander

DUCK!!!! (lower your head)

Silly goose

Like a sitting duck

Waddle like a duck

Lucky duck!

A quack (bad doctor)

Get your ducks in a row

Goosed (pecked in the rear)

Don't get your feathers ruffled (any bird)

Let it roll like water on a duck's back

The goose that laid the golden egg

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, it must be a duck

Like a duck out of water

Like a duck takes to water

Loose as a goose

Wild goose chase

His goose was cooked

Bottoms up!

Just Ducky

Take a gander--to have a look at something

Going quackers

Feather your nest



Finished once again.  See you next week except for those I exercise with as I will see you this morning.


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Once again on the road,

From Orlando we went north to the Florida town that is farthest to the west, so far west it is in the next time zone, which is central. With Patty retired we are both now on a fixed limited income so to save money we decided to stay in government quarters. Our first try is with the Navy and I must say it is very nice, both clean and comfortable. We are located on the Naval Air Station, of Pensacola, Florida ( ; we reserved three days using the Navy Gateway, Inns and Suites. What is great about this base is the location is right on Pensacola Bay so we have a beach. It is home to the Naval Air Museum, and a lighthouse. Another great thing is the Navy’s Blue Angels practice here probably twice a week. I will need to take a few pictures and Patty wants to get some autographs for the grand kids.

Last night we went into the city of Pensacola to eat at one of America’s great steakhouses, McGuire’s Irish Pub. Many of my friends would like this place as many drinks are in the $3 to $4 range. The walls were covered with money; my estimate is over 1 million, every square inch of the ceiling and walls down to about 3 feet. The money is not flat on a flat surface but hung perpendicular. There is so much money that sound does not carry and the Irish music is muted. They make all their beer and I had a red lager named, McGuire’s Irish Red. Patty drank something called an Emory Chenoweth, not sure what it contains but probably 10 inches high and only $3.50. My taste of it was delicious. There was a drink with a limit of 3 per person, served in an old fashion quart size Mason jar from the local cemetery, called “The Irish Wake” at a cost of $9.99. The seating capacity of this place was very close to 800 or 900 people. The parking lot was perhaps five acres. Many pictures of famous people are on the walls, more than one can imagine.

Day two: We went to the Naval Air Museum. It is huge and extensive, over 150,000 square feet and four stories high. One day is not enough, as there is so much history from WW1, through today. If I was going to say which is bigger the USAF or the USN, I would go to the USAF at Wright Patterson AFB.  Pensacola trains most of the Naval Aviators if not all, some became very famous and some were our past presidents. Their planes and log books will be enshrined here forever.

There is a lighthouse on the base which posed nicely for some pictures. You can look up  there is also a museum attached. This is still a working lighthouse kept up by the Coast Guard.

The last day was a visit to a fort. It was Fort Pickens National Park. From the fort we watched the Blue Angels practice maneuvers, our very own private air show. There were six planes and they kept passing over and around the fort then back to the base and up into the sky. A great day especially after we left the fort for a nearby beach that gets 4.9 stars out of five. It was not crowded at all and many have said it is the best beach in the Eastern United States, Langdon Beach. If I return to Pensacola, I would stay at the Naval Lodge as it is closer to the museum and lighthouse with its own private beach. The beach used by the Inn I was in although also on base but perhaps two miles away, without the seclusion afforded by the lodge.


The next day we are off to stay on Joint Base Charleston, currently commanded by the A.F... We are staying at an Air Force Inn once again; it will be the least expensive nights of our trip. Unlike the old days when there were many clubs, the military has sort of made drinking out of vogue. Only one club on base now and this one had Bingo on the evening we arrived, however our arrival was an hour late to catch the entire evening’s game. There were two guaranteed $1,000 prizes included this evening along with all their normal prizes. We just ate in the Grill portion of the club, ran to the commissary and then back to our room. If anything was funny, we saw many open parking spaces in front of the club. Only trouble was the first 2 were for General Officers, the next 4 were for Colonels, then a few for Commanders of local units and the club manager. There was a group set aside for the E-9 enlisted also.  I parked in the back.

We made our reservation again by using  for those active or retired military members with proper identification.  I tried to read the regulation (AFI 37-135 24 September 2014) to see if DoD Civilian guests are authorized, as in the past I have stayed with DoD Civilians with Temporary Duty Orders while we were having required environmental training and could not decipher the policy.  There are so many exceptions and rules I feel DoD Civilians with DoD ID cards might be eligible.

I did notice that rule 39 includes: Other DoD ID card holders not on official business to include disabled veterans.

It almost looks like many people are authorized so probably the best thing is just check and confirm eligibility.


Ok, off to Fort Sumter, the place where the American Civil War Began. Decades of growing strife between north and south erupted in civil war on April 12, 1861, when confederate artillery opened fire on this Federal fort in Charleston Harbor. Fort Sumter surrendered 34 hours later. Union forces would try for nearly four years to take it back. You can’t drive to it so we took a ferry. The place where the ferry started there were two naval ships the USS Yorktown (CV/CVA/CVS-10) is one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers built during World War II for the United States Navy. She is named after the Battle of Yorktown of the American Revolutionary War, and is the fourth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name. I did not catch the name of the destroyer.

This is a National Park so once again I got to use my park pass. If you are 62 or over you should spend the $10 for one of the passes. Once you pay the fee all National Parks are free for life, this includes the National Seashore on the Cape. I have got my $10 back many times over already and I bought it 3 or 4 years ago.

This is also the area my father went to college, he attended the U.S. military Academy called, “The Citadel.” His study was chemical engineering. This was also the start to get his commission and join the army’s, 101st Screaming Eagles and become a paratrooper during WWII. I did not have time to visit the Citadel museum so I might have to return on another trip.


I am not sure if I can call these vacations anymore. Where we are retired now I would say they are just trips, excursions or adventures.


Many of my friends know I was once a Democrat who was a McGovern supporter. While I was stationed in Texas I shook McGovern’s hand by the Alamo, in San Antonio , during a rally. This particular political party left me behind many years ago.

Great Orators of the Democrat Party – PAST:

"One man with courage makes a majority." ~ Andrew Jackson

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

"The buck stops here." ~ Harry S. Truman

"Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for country." ~ John F. Kennedy


Great Orators of the Democratic Party today:

"It depends what your definition of 'is' is?'' President William Jefferson Clinton

"Those rumors are false. I believe in the sanctity of marriage." ~ John Edwards

"What difference does it make?" (Re: Benghazi) ~ Hillary Clinton

"I invented the Internet." ~ Al Gore (he did however vote to provide tax payer money for it’s startup)

"America is, is no longer, uh, what it, uh, could be, uh, what it was once was, uh, and I say to myself, uh, I don't want that future, uh, for my children." ~ Barack Obama

"I have campaigned in all 57 states." ~ Barack Obama (Quoted 2008)

"You don't need God anymore; you have us Democrats." ~ Nancy Pelosi (Quoted 2006) (A really, really stupid remark.)

"Paying taxes is voluntary." ~ Sen. Harry Reid

"Bill is the greatest husband and father I know. No one is more faithful, true, and honest than he is." ~ Hillary Rodham Clinton (Quoted1998)

"You have a business. You didn't build that. Someone else did!" ~ Barack Obama (Quoted 2012)

And the most ridiculous gem of wisdom, from the "Mother Superior Moron": "We just have to pass the Healthcare Bill to see what's in it." ~ Nancy Pelosi (Quoted March, 2010)

(As one Doctor said: “That is also the perfect definition of a stool sample.”)

A Great Republican: "Life is tough! It's even tougher when you are stupid.'' ~ John Wayne


Now I am on the Delmarva Peninsula and staying with a Navy Inn again. The internet and password are the same so my computer is happy. We drove all day (8 hours), had breakfast when we left but decided to have a nice dinner after we checked into Wallops Island, home of Surface Combat System Center (SCSC). It is located on a 6 square mile island with NASA.  There are so few people around it is weird.  The gate guard would open the gate electronically from his guard shack to let us in and out.  The gate was roughly a 10 foot high fence on rollers.  On my arrival there were about 8 men cooking on a bar-b-cue grill before they disappeared.  This was the most people I saw during my entire stay.  No base exchange, no club, no gas station, no commissary, just 3 or 4 buildings, a parking lot and a guard shack. The big building being what looked like a school for Navy training of Combat Systems.  The gate guard could jog around all the buildings in probably 5 minutes.

One funny thing, other than the ghost base item above.  A room is $70 and a suite is $70.  I took the suite, being the bargain hunter, penny pincher that I am.  All suites are on the second floor and all rooms on first floor.  The furniture in the rooms was sort of early Virginian, which was ornately carved cherry wood, no fiber board here, not even plywood.  Much better furniture than I have in my own house and those of the people I know.  The bed was a sleigh bed also cherry and carved.  I counted the drawers in the room in the 4 rooms of the suite, there were 21.  I was only sleeping there for two nights, our arrival and the one night after our day of exploring, so I did not unpack my suitcase as we would be leaving in the morning.  Not using all these drawers made me feel guilty so I put my glasses and wallet in one just before I went to sleep.  The Air Force would say we would be leaving at zero dark thirty.  There were probably only 4 or 5 other people and/or couples staying at the Inn but I did not see any of them, just their vehicles.

We had dinner at Ray’s Shanty on Chincoteague Road. If you drive the coast heading south after using the Cape May ferry this restaurant would be well worth the stop. I had ½ pound of steamed shrimp from North Carolina; it came with fries, slaw, and hush puppies. This meal was incredible and only $17.95. Patty had 2 crab cakes made in the facility with the same sides that I had for $21.95. Just an FYI my shrimp size was XL, probably 16 – 20 per pound. Another thing I noticed was this place also sells fresh seafood; the sign said uncooked North Carolina  shrimp the size I just ate, goes for $35 for 10 pounds (head and shell on). In New England we pay way too much for seafood and it is not as fresh. Patty and I were taken on a tour of the restaurant/facility while waiting for our table by the owner’s wife,.  The owner, her husband, Captain Ray Twiford we met on our way out of the restaurant.

Adjacent to this base is a NASA installation that commands the oldest rocket launch range in the U.S. This might be interesting as they do offer tours, but we are visiting Chincoteague National Park tomorrow to visit and photograph the wild horses on nearby islands.


We did get to go to the NASA museum on our way back from Chincoteague. I was becoming paranoid with all of the “Restricted Area,” signs on this base, plus those of the NASA and was wondering what they were hiding. There were probably nine parabolic dishes pointed toward the sky, some at least five stories high. More rockets are shot from this base then Cape Canaveral, Kennedy’s Space Station, approximately 30 per year. The next one is May 31. If you are an engineer in the field this would be the place to be. . Why might you ask, great food, low cost homes, incredible ocean views and parks and beaches everywhere.

I have always thought that buying a home on the Delaware portion of this three state peninsula as the state of DE has the 46th lowest tax rate of the lower 48 states. I guess taxes are most important to me anyway.

I did learn that the next full solar eclipse of the sun will be on August 21, 2017. A total solar eclipse will take place on Monday, August 21, 2017. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. Let us hope for good weather and no clouds as this phenomenon does not happen very often.


Having returned to my home once again I can return to my writing about inventions that changed mankind.  This week we will talk about the Stethoscope.

Many people have heard their stomach growling or listened to their heartbeat in the middle of the night.  But few know that inside the human body is a cacophony of sounds– from the gurgle of the intestines to the whisper of the lungs to the rush of the arteries and low rumble of other organs.  Doctors can draw conclusions about patient’s health depending upon the sounds they hear through a stethoscope.  The word “stethoscope” comes from the Greek words stehos, meaning “chest,” and skopein, meaning “to explore.”

Modern stethoscopes feature a round chest piece containing a hollow cup (bell) with a plastic disk, or diaphragm, inside it.  When the piece is placed on the patient’s chest, body sounds vibrate the diaphragm, creating sound waves that travel up hollow rubber tubes to the listener’s ears.  The bell transmits low-frequency sounds, while the diaphragm transmits higher-frequency sounds.

Rene Laennec invented the stethoscope in France in 1816.  Reportedly, while walking in Paris, Laennec saw two children sending signals to each other using a long piece of solid wood and a pin.  With an ear to one end, the child received an amplified sound of the pin scratching the opposite end of the stick.  After much experimentation, Laennec came up with the first stethoscope.  It consisted of a wooden tube and was connected to one ear only.  The tool was very similar to the ear trumpet, a device used by the hard-of-hearing to listen to conversations.

Flexible-tube stethoscopes for one ear arrived in 1840.  They were called ”snake ear trumpets.” In 1851 Irish physician Arthur Leared invented a binaural (two-eared) stethoscope which greatly improved the ability of a doctor to hear internal bodily sounds.

Today, physicians use many types of stethoscopes.  The acoustic stethoscope is the most familiar, but there are also electronic stethoscopes (stethophones) that electronically amplify body sounds.  They use a PC-based software that converts the sound into visual graphs that can be transmitted for remote diagnosis.

The invention of the stethoscope marked a major step in the redefinition of disease.  Formerly identified as a bundle of symptoms, disease in the current sense is considered a bodily problem even if there are no noticeable symptoms.  Using a stethoscope, a doctor can quickly tell the health of the lungs, heart, stomach, and intestines even if the patient notices no pain.


Here is another summer crockpot recipe. . .

Roasted Summer Squash with Pine Nuts and Romano Cheese


2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup chopped yellow onion
1 medium red bell pepper chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 medium zucchini, cut into ½ -inch slices
3 medium summer squash, cut into ½ -inch slices
½ cup chopped pine nuts
1/3 cup grated Romano cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cubed
Springs of fresh basil (optional

1.  Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion, bell pepper and garlic; cook and stir 10 minutes or until onion is translucent and soft.  Remove to Crockpot slow cooker.  Add zucchini and summer squash; toss lightly.


I hate it when people forward bogus warnings, and I have even done it myself a couple times unintentionally... but this one is real, and it's important. So please send this warning to everyone on your e- mail list.

If someone comes to your front door saying they are checking for ticks due to the warm weather and asks you to take your clothes off and dance around with your arms up


They only want to see you in your birthday suit.

I wish I'd gotten this yesterday. I feel so stupid.


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Billy Graham was returning to Charlotte after a speaking engagement and when his plane arrived there was a limousine there to transport him to his home.

As he prepared to get into the limo, he stopped and spoke to the driver.

"You know" he said, "I am 87 years old and I have never driven a limousine. Would you mind if I drove it for a while?"

The driver said, "No problem. Have at it."

Billy gets into the driver's seat and they head off down the highway.

A short distance away sat a rookie State Trooper operating his first speed trap.

The long black limo went by him doing 70 in a 55 mph zone.

The trooper pulled out and easily caught the limo and he got out of his patrol car to begin the procedure.

The young trooper walked up to the driver's door and when the glass was rolled down, he was surprised to see who was driving. He immediately excused himself and went back to his car and called his supervisor.

He told the supervisor, "I know we are supposed to enforce the law...But I also know that important people are given certain courtesies. I need to know what I should do because I have stopped a very important person."

The supervisor asked, "Is it the Governor?"

The young trooper said, "No, he's more important than that."

The supervisor said, "Oh, so it's the President."

The young trooper said, "No, he's even more important than that."

The supervisor finally asked, "Well then, who is it?"

The young trooper said, "I think it's Jesus, because he's got Billy Graham for a chauffeur!"


Two nuns were shopping in a food store and happened to be passing the beer and liquor section.

One nun asks the other if she would like a beer.

The other nun answered that would be good, but that she would be queasy about purchasing it.

The first nun said that she would handle it and picked up a six pack and took it to the cashier.

The cashier had a surprised look and the first nun said, "This is for washing our hair."

The cashier without blinking an eye, reached under the counter and put a package of pretzel sticks in the bag with the beer saying, "Here, don't forget the curlers."


Sorry had to finish up with the jokes as it is Monday night and I have been very busy.

See some of you at exercise.....  George

for a copy with your morning coffee, put letter in subject line and email

older copies available with Walters additions as he thinks it makes the letter easier to read.